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blewis - Posted Friday, Aug 2, 2019 11:37:39 PM

The Oakridge School has again been named the best private school in Arlington by Arlington Today readers. The magazine’s 2019 Readers’ Choice All Star winners were announced August 1. This marks the third straight year that Oakridge has been recognized with the honor.

Voters made their selections earlier this year at in more than 160 categories. The full list of 2019 winners may be found here.


blewis - Posted Thursday, May 30, 2019 11:04:48 AM

Oakridge Librarian Patricia deWinter presented at the Association of Independent School Librarians (AISL) Annual Conference this April in Boston. The AISL Conference includes four days of school visits, keynote speakers, informative workshops, and tours showcasing educational and cultural resources in the host city.

AISL is unique in offering an intentionally small conference that is designed to highlight the distinctive strengths of host schools. Attendees tour schools and their libraries, network with colleagues to share best practices, and participate in professional development sessions. The AISL conference perfectly fulfills the unique needs of independent school librarians from across the U.S. and Canada.

Mrs. deWinter’s presentation focused on ways literature can be used to spark an interest in activism and foster empathy. To that end, Oakridge Lower and Middle School students researched topics of interest to them such as plastic pollution, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and animals in need, and then evaluated media sources, created presentations and shared their discoveries with other classes. Additionally, students engaged in STEM activities and explored numerous books about change makers and service.

Of the engagement, Mrs. deWinter reflects on a quote from Philippe Cousteau, a self-professed adventure "junkie," television host, and founder of EarthEcho: "When kids are empowered to consider problems, gather information, and drive their own activism by what truly interests them, they invent solutions that adults would often never consider.”  

blewis - Posted Thursday, May 30, 2019 9:48:00 AM

The Oakridge School has been recognized as a 2019 Best School by Niche, the largest ranking and review website of K-12 schools in the U.S.

Oakridge ranked No. 296 (top 13 percent) of 2,213 Best Private K-12 Schools in America. Oakridge ranked No. 19 (top 10 percent) of 177 Best Private K-12 Schools in Texas, and No. 14 (top 3.6 percent) of 382 Best Private High Schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Oakridge is the only school that earned an A+ rating in the city of Arlington.

"These rankings reflect our faculty and staff members' rigorous approach and unwavering commitment to both educating and equipping young people to succeed in college and life," said Head of School Jon Kellam. "As we continue to celebrate 40 years of service, our vision is clear and we remain steadfast in our mission of inspiring students to seek their full potential in academics, the arts, and athletics in a challenging and nurturing environment that cultivates social responsibility, mutual respect, and personal integrity."

Niche based the ranking on factors like SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratio, the quality of colleges considered by students, and reviews from students and parents. Niche's methodology also includes having its team of data scientists analyze data from the U.S. Department of Education. Visit for the full list of 2019 rankings, methodologies, and data sources.

Established in 1979, The Oakridge School is a coeducational, college preparatory school for students in preschool through grade 12. The school draws a diverse student body from 36 area cities and 15 countries to a dynamic learning environment on a 100-acre campus in Arlington. Visit for more information about our diverse and vibrant campus or to schedule a campus visit.

blewis - Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2019 4:14:00 PM

Oakridge faculty and staff received special service awards, well-wishes, and hugs at a luncheon Wednesday, May 29 meant to put a bow on the 2018-2019 school year. 

Awards for 30 years of service went to: 2nd Grade Teacher Jana Kurrasch and College Advisor Peggy Pfursich. Awards for 25 years of service went to: Middle School Math Teacher Gail Roe. Those recognized for 20 years of service included:

  • Mara Townsley, Coach and ECC  
  • Sandra Skinner, Preschool   
  • Jamie McCarver, 1st grade 
  • Sue Knott, Upper School Math  
  • Jill Gaspar, Pre-Kindergarten
  • Jerry Davis, Upper School History  
  • Cheryl Cornwell, Accounting
  • Dianne Findley, Assistant Director of Choirs

Fifteen year service awards went to Upper School Chinese Teacher Wei-Ming Liu, Director of Senior Programs and US English Teacher Chris Renshaw, and Director of Development Lauren Matocha.

Middle School English Teacher Christiane Dreadin and Assistant Director of Technology and Modern Learning Ashley Read received awards for 10 years of service. Five year service awards were given to MS Math Teacher Lesley Benefield, US Math Teacher Joe Feldstein, and Librarian Patricia de Winter. 

Upper School Administrative Assistant Michelle Emmert received the inaugural Point of Light Award that honors the memory of Stephanie Pham.

Retirees or those faculty and staff members leaving Oakridge this year included: ECC Director Betty Garton, ECC Administrative Assistant Debbie Worlow, MS History Teacher Robby Koch, MS English Teacher and MS Public Speaking Specialist Amy Alsip, MS Art Teacher Patti Greenwood, US English Teacher Stephen Hebert, and Technology Assistant Nick Lane.

blewis - Posted Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 10:31:40 AM

There was no shortage of tears Saturday, April 13, 2019 during the retirement celebration for Early Childhood Center Director Betty Garton. Hundreds of people, including Mrs. G’s family members, current and alumni Oakridge students and parents, faculty, staff, current and former members of the Board of Regents, community supporters, and many others attended the event held inside the Student Activity Center. Mrs. G will retire in June following 37 years at Oakridge. Here are photos from the event where she received a proclamation from the City of Arlington declaring it "Betty Garton Day," and a letter of recognition from Gov. Greg Abbott. Oakridge families may login to their Vidigami account to see more photos. 





blewis - Posted Monday, Apr 15, 2019 12:08:19 PM

The Oakridge School is pleased to announce the appointments of Christine Metoyer as Assistant Head of Upper School, Nicki Morgan as Director of the Early Childhood Center, and Kendra Walton '05 as the first full-time Alumni Relations Coordinator. Walton assumed her role Monday, April 1.  Metoyer and Morgan will both begin Monday, July 1. Morgan succeeds Mrs. Betty Garton, who is retiring after 37 years of service to The Oakridge School. 

Christine Metoyer, a seasoned educator and administrator, comes to Oakridge from Houston Christian High School where she most recently served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. She has also served as an Interim Division Head and History Department Chair. Metoyer brings a vast array of talents to Oakridge. Her passion for teaching and learning partnered with her experience (22 years in education with the last 17 years at HCHS) will complement Head of Upper School Jim Andersen.

Metoyer hopes, “to lead teachers, inspire collaboration, build relationships across the community, and work on issues directly related to classroom instruction while teaming with other administrators to reach and teach students and advance the mission of Oakridge.” 

Metoyer and her husband, Aaron, have two children.  

Kendra Walton graduated from The Oakridge School in 2005. She joins the Oakridge faculty and staff in April after six years at BlueCross BlueShield of Texas. She is the mother of third grader Blake Buljan and becomes the seventh alumni   staff member at Oakridge. 

After graduating from The Oakridge School, Walton earned her degree in advertising and public relations from Texas Christian University. She has worked extensively in corporate communications and volunteered regularly at TCU, Oakridge   and Ben Barber Innovation Academy.

"As a graduate and legacy parent, I am thrilled and honored to serve my alma mater," said Walton. "I look forward to building relationships with alumni, students and friends. Once an Owl, always an Owl!

As an alumna, legacy parent, and Oakridge Parents' Club board member, Walton possesses an in-depth understanding of the   Oakridge community. She is an effective networker and communicator, with strong interpersonal and technological skills. Walton has spent nine years in customer service and seven years in project management, and she loves a challenge and learning new things.

Nicki Morgan is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Westpark Elementary in Benbrook. She has also taught kindergarten, first grade, and fourth grade. Her passion lies in early childhood education, and her objective is to create a safe, loving environment where students and teachers are challenged to grow in their areas of strength while teaching and equipping them with life skills and a rich, cross-curricular education.

Her strengths include leadership, encouragement, communication and management. Educated at the University of North Texas, Morgan is also certified in ESL. She started her career outside education, and she has been a teacher for eight years, earning Campus Teacher of the Year in 2015 at Jackie Carden Elementary School in Crowley.

In her Philosophy of Education, Morgan writes, "Being an educator is a gift. To have the opportunity to inspire, encourage, instill, direct, and guide young children is nothing to be taken lightly. As an educator, my philosophy is to discover each child's potential, and direct them to notice it, embrace it, and in return, learn to grow within it."

Morgan sees the role of the ECC teacher as one of a learning leader who creates an environment that is safe, nurturing, and challenging to each child. She believes in offering our youngest students hands-on opportunities and relevant, real-life examples of how to apply that knowledge, ultimately putting children in charge of their own learning. Morgan believes when children feel the shift from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation, their love of learning ignites.

Morgan and her husband, Josh, have three children.

blewis - Posted Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019 1:17:04 PM

The Oakridge School Early Childhood Center is proud to join preschools, daycares, and other organizations across the United States in sponsoring a St. Jude Trike-A-Thon event during the week of April 22-26 to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, one of the world's premier pediatric cancer research centers.

The week-long event will teach bike and riding-toy safety lessons using interactive stories featuring fun characters. At the conclusion of the week, students will bring their tricycles to the Early Childhood Center to practice what they've learned about safety from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, April 26.

A key component to the activities is children learning about helping others, including the patients of St. Jude. Parents, grandparents or grandfriends, and others in the community will team up to support the hospital by pledging a donation for St. Jude Trike-A-Thon Week. Because no patient is ever denied treatment from St. Jude because of an inability to pay, funds from fundraisers, such as The Oakridge School ECC St. Jude Trike-A-Thon, help the hospital's mission of discovering cures and saving children's lives. Contact ECC Director Betty Garton at (817) 451-4994 or visit for more information about how to donate.

This marks the 29th year that The Oakridge School has supported the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon and/or Math-A-Thon program. The school has raised $99,562 since it began in 1990. Last year the Trike-A-Thon raised $3,329. "Oakridge has a heart for children, especially those in need and we consider it a true honor to be able to help through events like the Trike-A-Thon," said Mrs. Garton. "Our families have given so much in the 29 years that we have been associated with this program and it is my hope that our efforts will continue and lead to more children living healthier, happier, and safer lives."

Since its founding in 1983, the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon program has raised more than $100 million. Visit for more information.

blewis - Posted Monday, Apr 1, 2019 1:58:00 PM

HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY, OWLS! We recently sat down with some of the visionaries behind The Oakridge School and are honored to share a special message from these VIPs, including Betty Garton, director of our Early Childhood Center. #WeAreOakridge #OakOwls #WeAreFamily



blewis - Posted Thursday, Mar 7, 2019 4:04:00 PM

Get ready to spring into action for The Oakridge School's 2nd Annual Picnic and Egg Hunt. The Saturday, April 6 event is open to Oakridge and non-Oakridge families alike, and will include a petting zoo, face painting, and a fun hunt of more than 1,500 eggs, 500 pieces of candy, and more.

"Events such as these have the opportunity to bring families of all backgrounds together and to foster a greater sense of community," said Nadia DiStefano, community engagement coordinator at The Oakridge School. "We were overwhelmed by the excitement and support that we received from more than 200 families and Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams last year, and we're honored to engage our community for a second straight year in what we feel is a very meaningful way."

WFAA-TV's Teresa Woodard, a respected journalist and winner of an Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow Award, will kick-off the celebration at the Oakridge Lower School Playground, 5900 W. Pioneer Parkway in Arlington (see campus map here). The event is free, but everyone is asked to RSVP at A Dickey's Barbecue lunch will be available for purchase. Please call 817-363-9702 if you have any questions.

Start times for egg hunts vary for each age group:

Noon: Petting zoo, face painting, and picnic

1:30 p.m.: Egg hunt for children ages 5-10 begins

1:45 p.m.: Egg hunt for children ages 4 and under begins

About The Oakridge School

Established in 1979, The Oakridge School is a coeducational, college preparatory school for students in preschool through grade 12. The school draws a diverse student body from 36 area cities and 15 countries to a dynamic learning environment on a 100-acre campus in Arlington. The Oakridge School mission is to inspire students to seek their full potential in academics, the arts, and athletics in a challenging and nurturing environment that cultivates social responsibility, mutual respect, and personal integrity. To learn more about The Oakridge School, visit

blewis - Posted Wednesday, Mar 6, 2019 8:40:00 AM

HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY, OWLS! We recently sat down with some of the visionaries behind The Oakridge School and are honored to share a special message from these VIPs. As we continue to celebrate our jubilee year in 2019, you'll also hear from Andy Broadus, Nancy O'Shea, Betty Garton, and many others who turned a dream into reality. #WeAreOakridge #OakOwls

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